- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.2lzcOnhH.dpuf Nothing but Delicious: June 2011

Easy is delicious: Rhubarb Tart

Do you bake to calm yourself too? 

Today I am applying for new jobs. I am facing the possibilities of failure and rejection. But do you know what's comforting? Knowing that puff pastry will puff at 400 degrees. 

This recipe takes only four things: puff pastry, a fruit, an acid and sugar. It will work with almost any combination of acid and fruit, even strawberries and balsamic vinegar. It comes out of the oven so hot and buttery and tangy that I sometimes wish I was a stress eater.

Today I used beautiful red summer rhubarb, orange juice and honey. I topped it off with a little cinnamon. 

Rhubarb Orange Tart:
four index card sized sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
about a cup of thinly sliced rhubarb
enough orange juice to cover the rhubarb in a shallow dish (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup of raw honey

Stir honey and orange juice to combine and soak sliced rhubarb in it while puff pastry thaws. Preheat oven to 400. With the back of a fork, score 1/4-1/2 inch border on the puff pastry. With the prongs of a fork, poke holes around the inside area of the pastry. Once rhubarb has soaked about 15 minutes, place (preferably neatly, but in my case not so much) slices on pastry. Sprinkle with cinnamon and put into oven for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer any remaining rhubarb/orange juice in a pot until reduced by half. When pastry comes out of the oven, brush glaze onto middle of the tart....and enjoy! 

Breakfast is Delicious: Blackberry Muffins

Do you ever wake up with one very specific thing on your mind? This morning I woke up thinking about muffins. Warm, moist, tangy muffins. 

So I made some. Blackberry, orange and rhubarb muffins. Aren't you jealous? They taste like summertime. 

Simple is Delicious: Roast Chicken

Have I mentioned that I moved three weeks ago? My new apartment looks out over the Cumberland River, has a washer and dryer and best of all, a huge kitchen table! Now I can have sit down dinners with friends, complete with colorful serving dishes, local flowers, local music and plenty of wine. Could a girl ask for more?

My first sit down dinner in my new place was a big deal. I wanted it to be special, and it was. To my delight my friend Sarah called me last Sunday to report that it was time to pick the first arugula from her garden! We made a plan: on Wednesday she would make a salad with mustard vinaigrette and I would roast chicken.

Can you believe that I had never roasted a whole chicken by myself before that? It's true!

What's really wonderful about a whole chicken is that you need very, very few things to make it delicious. Furthermore, one chicken makes a minimum of three dishes.

To get a perfect, crispy chicken, you must do five things:

1. Clean the insides. It is both disgusting and unsafe to roast a chicken with a plastic bag of guts inside of it.
2. Pat the chicken dry with a kitchen towel. Water creates steam; steam prevents crispiness.
3. Stuff the cavity with onions, a couple lemon wedges and salt. Truss the chicken, or simply tuck the wings under and tie the legs together.
4. Do NOT add oil or butter. It goes against common logic, but oil and butter can also create steam, once again, preventing crispiness.
5. Douse, and I do mean douse the bird with kosher salt.

My bird was four-and-a-half pounds. I roasted it at 450 for about an hour and forty minutes. When it was done, I brushed most of the salt off and chopped it into pieces.

We ate it (and the arugula salad) with our hands. It was rustic, almost primal. On Thursday I enjoyed the leftovers in a pesto chicken salad sandwich. Today I used the carcass to make soup. More to come on that...later.

*Cook's note: Obviously a roasting pan is ideal for roasting. I don't have one. This is what I use: Cuisinart Everyday Pan.

Cake is Delicious: Chocolate Orange

Katie is here, Katie is here!

I knew I wanted to be best friends with Katie the first time I met her. We were nine. She had a perm and white jeans and someone told me that her Dad worked for a candy company. It was a no-brainer.

When I think of Katie I think of chocolate. I think about how much we both love it. I think about the tour of Brach & Brock that her Dad, Jerry, gave us on her 13th birthday. I think about one night when we deliriously believed that there were chocolate Easter eggs hidden in her house in March. I could go on and on.

I have already shared with you my opinion that coming home is a perfect occasion for sharing food. Visiting is much the same way.

I visited Katie in Chicago two months ago. My eyes were drawn to one thing upon entering her kitchen: a giant, five pound five KG (12 pound) bar of chocolate that her Jerry had lugged home from Europe. She had waited for me to open it! We left it on the counter with a paring knife all weekend and chiseled off pieces every time we walked by. Of course I wanted to have something equally special waiting for her.

So I made this: chocolate orange upside down cake. It was just the perfect amount of batter because it made one 10 inch cake and two cupcakes. That meant one cupcake for me, hot out of the oven, and one cupcake for her, sitting in my car when she got off the plane.

We had a fantastic weekend that was over all too quickly.

In less than 48 hours we went to the Nashville farmer's market12th South Taproom, the downtown art crawlManny's House of PizzaMarcheHot & Cold and Taco Mamacita.

On Saturday night we threw a party at my house and in classic Hannah-Katie fashion, we ate strawberry ice cream, drank a good deal of wine and promptly fell asleep at 11:30, before the party was even over.

We laughed. A lot. I am worn out, to say the least. I cannot wait for her to come back again.

<-- Katie at Marche.

Chocolate Orange Upside Down Cake
6 T butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 oranges
5oz chocolate (I used 4oz dark, 1oz milk)
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup honey
4 eggs, divided
1/2 t baking soda
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Place 2T of butter in 10 inch cake pan to melt while oven warms up. Slice one orange very thin. When butter is melted, sprinkle brown sugar over it and layer orange slices so that they cover the mixture.
Beat egg yolks, almond flour, honey, baking soda and salt in one bowl. Add about 2t of zest from the second orange. Melt the chocolate with the rest of the butter and fold in with spatula.
Beat egg whites until they have at least doubled in size, but not so much that they are forming peaks. Fold egg whites into the rest of the batter. Pour on top of the oranges and bake immediately for about 35 minutes.
* Remember, you WILL have slightly too much batter. Pour accordingly.
* This cake is best served fresh with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. It DOES need to be refrigerated.